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Nuvair is a world class producer and developer of innovative breathing air and Nitrox technology systems. In operation for well over 30 years, with over 1200 installations around the world and a global dealer support network, Nuvair is the best choice for Nitrox Systems. The Nuvair Nitrox system uses state of the art membrane technology to produce, on-site, on-demand, O2 Enriched Air Nitrox or EAN using standard air compressors. The widely known benefits of utilizing Enriched Air Nitrox diving include, increased bottom time to depths of 120 feet, enhanced safety, less fatigue following a dive, increased dive team production, significant savings of diver time and other critical factors.
The Nitrox membrane systems can be purchased as a standalone product to be integrated into an existing air compressor system or in a complete turnkey system for Low Pressure (LP) or High Pressure (HP) production. Any desired O2 percentage mix, from 21% to 40%, including commonly used 32% or 36% mixtures can be dialed in as needed, real time, for continuous feed to divers or filling tanks. For commercial, surface supply dive operations, you can easily change the O2 percentage for different working depths during the dive for constant accurate Nitrox mix delivery.
Nuvair breathing air systems are economical, easy to operate, and highly reliable whether filling HP tanks or supplying divers with continuous LP Nitrox supply. Our Nitrox/EAN breathing experts will assist you in choosing streamlined turnkey systems based on your use, CFM requirements, pressure and power needs for commercial or recreational diving. All packages are ready to operate upon delivery.
Highly customized systems are available for any O2 enriched Nitrox application across all market sectors.
What is Nitrox?
In diving terminology; any mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, where these two gases represent the major constituents of the gas mix, is termed "Nitrox". Note that mixes which contain more than trace levels of other gases in addition to nitrogen and oxygen are not Nitrox. Air is considered a Nitrox mix. Nitrox mixes which are hyperoxyc (contain more than 21% oxygen) are variously known as; enriched air, enriched air Nitrox (EAN or EANx).
Who uses Nitrox?
Nitrox is used extensively within the Recreational, Technical and Commercial Diving Industries. It is also receiving widespread adoption amongst Fire and Rescue Service professionals and has been used for many years by elite military and Naval units.
Nitrox, is no longer breaking news, it has been used for more than 4 decades by technical and commercial divers in order to extend their bottom time and to reduce the content of Nitrogen gas in favor of a higher percentage of Oxygen. Divers undoubtedly can enjoy several benefits by using Nitrox instead of normal air. The most significant benefit is the increased level of safety for divers, less nitrogen means less bubbles and decreased exposure to DCS. However the expenses and skill level required for Nitrox production has made Nitrox sometime difficult to find, limited to only a few specialized facilities. The recent introduction of de-nitrogenating air membranes, has changed all this. The production and processing of Nitrox and tri-mix has now become safe, practical and easy. Training agencies are now seriously considering promoting Nitrox as the gas of choice for leisure scuba diving. Diving is now a intensely competitive industry and any technology which can offer the dive shop manager or owner a competitive advantage can only be an asset, the membrane allows the filling of Nitrox tanks at the same rate as the filling of standard air tanks, no more expensive O2 cylinders, no need for any booster pumps or the worry that your dive shop will go up with a bang with an inadvertent blending mistake. With our Nitrox production membrane systems Nuvair offers an affordable and reliable way to produce Nitrox as cheap and as fast as your HP compressor can deliver air. Seize this opportunity! Be at the forefront of dive technology and ahead of your competition.
Membrane Systems have dramatically changed the concept of diving with Nitrox. The System produces any blend of N202 (Nitrox) from 21% through 40% oxygen by de-nitrogenating (removing nitrogen) instead of enriching standard air with high-pressure oxygen. The de-Nitrogenated air is produced by the Low pressure membrane system which in turn feeds a High Pressure compressor, pumping Nitrox directly into a scuba cylinder.
SAFER & SIMPLER
Hazards related to handling, refilling, delivery and proper storage of 100% pure Oxygen cylinders are eliminated. Complete "turnkey" operation allows for a preset mix (21-40%) or real time adjustments as you go. Mix accurately to one tenth of 1%. Simply adjust input pressure to get the desired O2 percentage. The mix is monitored real time on the LCD Oxygen analyzer.
Only one hour of operator training is required. Operator DOES NOT require Gas Blender Certification and total installation is about two hours.
Decreased risk and liability provide lower live aboard vessel or building insurance premiums. Dive boats and buildings where 100% O2 is utilized to blend Nitrox are difficult to insure and have extra fire safety mandates to contend with.
No special O2 cleaning or dedicated oxygen clean tanks and equipment are required as the filling procedure never involves mixtures containing above 40% O2.
There is no need for time consuming and complicate blending calculations.
PRACTICAL & ECONOMICAL
Filling performance is as fast as your HP compressor. When using pure O2 tanks for blending, the last 500 psi of an oxygen tank is often inaccessible. High volume output means no wasted resources, no travel to air fill stations and no waiting for fills. You are in complete control of your air quality.
Maintenance is easy for filter changes.
The system operates on Grade E or Grade D Air and there are no hidden costs.
DURABLE & RELIABLE LONG LIFE COMPONENTS
Membranes do not have mechanical wear or chemical deterioration. If correctly utilized, membrane components last for over 20 years. The system will continuously produce from 21% to 40% oxygen.
VERSATILE & PORTABLE
Portable systems are built to move safely from boat to wherever Nitrox is required. Sea worthy dock boxes and custom cabinets are available.
The HP compressor part of the system can be used to fill air or Nitrox tanks with no adjustments or switch to just LP feed.
How the Nitrox Membrane System Works
Clean Filtered Air is Used
The Membrane System requires a source of clean, pressurized, and heated air for separation. The two most common sources are HP Air Storage Tanks or a LP Compressor. The air must be properly filtered to CGA Grade D or E air quality prior to entering the Membrane System so it will not damage or plug the Membrane fibers. Specifications for Grade D and E.
Regulators Adjust Input Pressure
Nuvair utilizes high quality air regulators to adjust for Maximum allowable supply pressures, which are 5000 psi for HP Supply or 250 psi for LP Supply. The Input Pressure Regulator reduces air pressure to acceptable levels for the Membrane.
Air is Stabilized By Heat
The air is heated to a temperature that provides stability over a wide range of ambient conditions and is optimal for membrane permeation. The heated air enters the Membrane, which is made up of thousands of miniature hollow fibers running axially through a cylindrical housing.
Semi-Permeable Fibers Separate Gases
The walls of these fibers are semi-permeable and designed for different gases to move through them (or permeate) at different speeds. The resulting gas mixture is known as the "permeate". As air flows through the hollow fibers, both oxygen and nitrogen permeate through the fiber walls. The oxygen permeates faster than the nitrogen, which produces permeate with an oxygen content greater than air. The gas that reaches the end of the hollow fibers without permeating is almost entirely nitrogen and is discharged.
Flow Rate and Pressure Control O2% in Mix
The flow rate of this discharge establishes the percentage of O2 in the permeate and is factory set via a fixed orifice to contain approximately 42% O2 under all operating conditions. The permeate is a concentrated mixture that must be diluted with additional air prior to delivery to the Nitrox Compressor. It exits the Membrane at ambient to slightly negative pressure and travels into the Mixing Tube, where it mixes homogeneously with filtered outside air. The amount of dilution and final O2% is set by adjusting the Input Pressure Regulator. As pressure is increased, permeate flow increases, air intake flow decreases, and a higher O2% Nitrox is produced. As pressure is decreased, permeate flow decreases, air intake flow increases, and a lower O2% Nitrox is produced. This relationship between permeate flow and air flow exists because the total of these two flow rates will always equal the intake flow rate demanded by the Nitrox Compressor.
Multi-Point O2 Sensors Monitor Mix
The resulting Nitrox mixture is analyzed for O2% by O2 sensors before delivery to the Nitrox Compressor and again at the point of final Nitrox delivery.
Temperature Control Provides Efficiency
The Nuvair de-nitrogenating membrane can operate at temperatures 15 degrees C and above supplied by a low pressure compressor and no heater.
The permeable membrane is most efficient at about 40 degrees C. An integrated heater provides this optimal temperature and stability, which means that there will be very little temperature fluctuation resulting in a stable O2% flux level during the course of the day.
Humidity Control Protects Membrane Life
Reheating the air also accomplishes what is known as air conditioning. During the manufacture of the Nitrox the air is heated by compression within the LP system. It is then cooled in an air after cooler and volume tank which changes the dew point of the compressed air. The cooled air, under pressure, drops moisture in the volume tank which is then filtered for moisture, particles and oil vapor. After filtration heating the air (before passage through the membrane) raises the dew point, therefore remaining moisture will not condense as it travels through the membrane resulting in longer membrane life and a more stable O2%.
36 Month Limited Warranty
The Nuvair Membrane is efficient and durable with a 20 - 25 year life depending on use. Nuvair offers a 36 month limited warranty on Nitrox membranes. The increased durability comes from the process that allows permeation through a special coating on the outside of the plastic tubes in the membrane, unlike other manufacturers who place the coating inside the plastic tubes. This outside coating means the fibers will not be damaged as easily with hydrocarbons and oil vapor.
High Pressure System Option
The above system diagram shows configuration using HP storage to feed the membrane system.
Adding the Nuvair Membrane System to Your Compressor
The Nitrox membrane system can be used with an existing compressor with the proper adaptor, pressure output, filtration and air cooling . It should be noted though, that it is important that the output of the membrane system is sufficient to satisfy the intake requirements of the compressor. The High Pressure compressor should run cool and be operated only if in good mechanical condition and using the recommended high performance synthetic lubricant recommended by Nuvair. It is recommended that any existing machine undergoes a thorough service and oil change before use.
Low Pressure System Option
The above system diagram shows a configuration using a LP silent rotary compressor offered by Nuvair to feed the Membrane System. The air/Nitrox mix can then be fed to a HP compressor to fill HP tanks.
The membrane system can be utilized for Trimix production as shown in the diagram above. The Trimix adapter can be installed with the initial system or as an addition later on.
Matching a Rotary LP Nitrox compressor with you current HP compressor
The table below gives examples of some standard HP compressor matches with Nuvair Rotary LP units.